Well, not really chasing, more like just being in the right place at the right time. It turns out they've flipped the schedule on this and the UP service now runs through to the CBD at around 2pm daily.
This is nothing short of perfectly timed. The steel runs down around 3 hours earlier... it's therefore good to go and stretch the legs when these services come through the area.
Just past Hawksburn
South Yarra Station
Just after South Yarra Station
The curve after South Yarra, just before Richmond...
Nice and colourful... no post processing on any pics!
It was Andrew's turn to come to Melbourne, so we went for a drive west to see if there was anything on the rails. Unfortunately, Sundays are usually the quietest out there. It was also overcast in the morning...
The Regional Rail Link connects back to the main line here after branching off at Sunshine back towards Melbourne. It all looks very complete and very clean. There wasn't much going on and we only had the signals to tell us if anything was approaching. A Geelong-bound V/Locity came through... not overly-exciting.
As we were about to leave, we were presented with a V/Lo on the flyover. Serious luck.
After our first bout of luck, we were itching for a second. A grain consist was waiting in the loop near North Shore.... pretty standard... but then IEV100 came through. This is a DMU rail inspection vehicle. ...If only the weather would pick up.
Between Cressy and Wingeel
The decision was made to drive further west in hope of sun and intermodals. Fortunately, we were met with both.
Andrew had wanted to check out the SCT sidings at Lavertion... but there was a light-engine movement visible on the radar and we decided to stay put and hope for the sun to hang around. Everything lined up and we were rewarded with a 4-locomotive lash-up of a BL, an 81 and 2 Gs.
There was a steel train coming from the east, so we chose to catch it at Gheringhap Loop instead of waiting for it at Inverleigh where the sun would be in the wrong spot.
Another 81... I've never seen so many (even if they're attached dead) on the west line.
Just east of Bannockburn?
I haven't really checked this location out before. I initially intended to camp at the crossing to the west right near Bannockburn station. But the sun indicated that we should be as east as possible. It paid off well... I tried to be artistic and get shots of the light-engines from below... but Andrew's shots from above were much better.
Between Lara and Little River
One final spot... one final intermodal and a V/Locity. In the end it turned out to be a really rewarding day.
Only two months behind... here's the highlights from South Yarra over August/September this year.
Metro's Inspection Train
Metro have converted an old passenger car into an inspection vehicle. It's known as IEV102 has equipment for monitoring the lines it is dragged over. You'll always see it top-and-tailed by T classes.
BG Steel with Green G
A green Pacific National G spent a weekend on the steel train.
Steamrail to Eltham
Not quite South Yarra, but venturing out to see a steamer very early was rewarded by a surprise sighting of the other Metro inspection vehicle: IEV100.
Railside in Cremorne
There is a pretty cool spot just before the Yarra river in Cremorne to take morning photos.
Batman St Overpass: Cremorne
And then there's the Batman St overpass, but it's a little too under-the-level.
Carpark ramp at end of Palmer Parade
If you keep wandering down Batman St and take a right on Palmer Pde, you'll find a carpark (that looks abandoned.) It has a ramp that gives you an elevated view towards South Yarra Station. Of course, you're then stuck in the wires and the shot Northbound gets a lens full of sunlight in the morning.
Y class to Long Island
But then, something cool happened... BL Steel with a Y Class loco transfer! This supposedly happens once a year.. the loco gets swapped out for routine maintenance back in Dynon.
Between Hawksburn and South Yarra
Turns out that you can get some pretty clean shots facing towards Hawksburn... although you really have very little time to get ready. Zero visibility doesn't give you too much warning.
And the final steel for the month...
Boredom made me hold the finger on the trigger....
Who would've thought animated GIFs would ever be cool again?